October 14, 2003
It's been 40 years since the last World Series appearance by the Cleveland Indians, and the team, not to mention the city, continues to doubt their chances to ever return. To add insult to injury, the team's owner got married in the offseason and didn't survive the honeymoon. Now, just weeks before spring training, the Tribe is in the hands of the late owner's bride, Rachel Phelps (Margaret Whitton), a former stripper who hates Cleveland. She sets a plan in motion immediately to put together a team so bad that it will lose lots of games, causing attendance to drop below the minimum amount necessary to keep the team's agreement with the city intact. Miami is ready to welcome a new baseball team, and Rachel Phelps wants some sun and fun.
Enter the saviors of Cleveland. Invited to spring training are a bunch of nobodys, has-beens, and never-will-bes, including journeyman catcher Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger), pitcher Rick Vaughn (Charlie Sheen), Cuban defector Pedro Cerrano (Dennis Haysbert), and camp crashing outfielder Willie Mays Hayes (Wesley Snipes). Never given a chance before, these guys find this first opportunity the chance to open some eyes, play together, and just have fun playing baseball. Some of the guys are rough around the edges - including arrogant third baseman Roger Dorn (Corbin Bernsen) - but they work out their differences and playing for veteran manager Lou Brown (James Gammon), start playing some decent baseball.
Rachel Phelps has no interest in seeing a rag-tag group of overachievers trying to make any sort of succesful run. So, she starts to make things tough for the team, forcing the team's general manager to replace the team jet with an old rickety twin-engine charter, and then a cramped smelly bus. (Luckily, she doesn't figure out until Major League II that trading good players away works too.) The GM can't stand to see the team blindsided like this, so he tells Lou Brown, who passes the news onto the team. Their owner wants them to lose. The team is shocked, but completely energized by this turn of events. Starting at that point, the Indians begin a devistating run through the American League, rolling with a huge winning on their way to a two-way tie with the Yankees atop the division.
At this point, all Phelps can do is watch as the Indians complete their dream season by willing the one-game playoff against the Yanks in dramatic fashion. All the nobodys on the team have become stars because of their obvious talent and flair for the dramatic, and their ability to work together as a team. Rachel Phelps wanted to destroy the team and deprive Cleveland of a baseball team, but instead provided the Cleveland faithful with one of the most exiting teams they've ever seen.
INTELLIGENCE - 6: Crafted a simple straight-forward plan, and unwittingly put together a team with great chemistry.
POWER - 2: Other than slapping Cerrano's behind in the locker room, she was hands off.
VILENESS - 6: As the team owner, she's willing to do whatever it takes to ruin the team's chances of winning.
SWAY - 6: Condescending and arrogant, Phelps won't take no for an answer.
PURITY - 8: Not even when the Indians were on the verge of pulling out an incredible victory to win the division did she even begin to care.
PHYSICAL - 5: Struts around dressed like Cruella de Vil, only not as freaky lookin'.
Posted by Destro at October 14, 2003 10:18 AM